The Division of Tourism tells legislators while tourism and hotel occupancy rates are down in Missouri, it’s not by much.

Senator John Griesheimer of Washington is the Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism. He says he hopes amid budget cuts that the Cooperative Marketing Program — a 50-50 matching funds reimbursement program — will continue.

Griesheimer admits tourism will likely be on the chopping block, and says he fears one big event might not be coming back…. Race of Missouri.

The tourism division says tourism contributes 3.8 Billion dollars annually to the state’s revenue.

While tourism funding is likely be cut during this tough budget year, Griesheimer says Branson is a good expample, pointing to airport expansions in Columbia and Branson reaching people in different cities, providing an incentive to more people to visit Missouri.